Now is a great time to catch up on your reading. If you’re missing Albuquerque’s big blue skies, pink mountains and deep-rooted culture, you’re in luck. Working with Albuquerque’s public libraries and library staff, we’ve rounded up a list of books about or set in Albuquerque and nearby locations. Bring Albuquerque to your living room with these great reads! 

Find all these books and more at Albuquerque’s public libraries, and be sure to check out Treasure House Books & Gifts for more fantastic reading and uniquely-ABQ gifts. 


109 East Palace by Jennet Conant

In 1943, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant, charismatic head of the Manhattan Project, recruited scientists to live as virtual prisoners of the U.S. government at Los Alamos, 35miles outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. Through the eyes of a young Santa Fe widow, one of Oppenheimer's first recruits, this book explores how, for all his flaws, he developed into an inspiring leader who motivated all those involved in the Manhattan Project to achieve the unthinkable.


Albuquerque Remembered by Howard Bryan

Albuquerque Remembered is an informative and entertaining history of the city. Howard Bryan devotes special attention to some of the colorful characters who have populated Albuquerque’'s history, and also includes business and civic leaders who helped shape the city's growth and character.


Albuquerque Then and Now by Mo Palmer

Part frontier town, part cosmopolitan city, Albuquerque has a proud heritage more than 300 years in the making. This book features a series of side-by-side then-and-now photographs showcasing local landmarks. 


Albuquerque: City at the End of the World by V. B. Price

Called a complex, intelligent study of urbanization, this intimate examination of Albuquerque was updated more than 10 years after its initial publication and is more relevant than ever to Albuquerque's future. 


Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap

Albuquerque's commercial brewing scene dates back to 1888, when the Southwestern Brewery & Ice Company was launched. After a long history, Marble Brewery's 2008 opening revived Albuquerque's craft beer scene. Since its opening, the city has welcomed dozens of breweries, brewpubs and taprooms. Writer Chris Jackson recounts the hoppy history of brewing in the Duke City. Read the book, and find inspiration for your next brew in ABQ here


Alburquerque by Rudolfo Anaya (A part of the Sonny Baca novel series)

Part of the Sonny Baca novel series, Alburquerque is a suspenseful, southwestern mystery novel featuring a Chicano detective in New Mexico. The four novels are set against the lush terrain of the American Southwest, blending its Spanish, Mexican and Native American cultures.


Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Author Rudolfo Anaya is also well-known and loved for this classic bestseller. In the novel, Antonio Marez is 6 years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, a traditional healer who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony probes the family ties that bind and rend him, and he discovers himself in the magical secrets of a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America.


The Blessingway by Tony Hillerman (A part of the Joe Leaphorn novel series)

From New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman, this is the first novel in his series featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn & Officer Jim Chee who encounter a bizarre case that borders between the supernatural and murder.


Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

This novel recounts the life  of the Archbishop of Lamy, a French priest who was dispatched by the Catholic Church to establish a diocese in Santa Fe in the mid-1800s. From his efforts in building St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe to his friendship with legendary scout Kit Carson to his struggles to acclimate to the new world, the novel beautifully portrays a life  lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert.


Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains by Robert Julyan and Mary Stuever

Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains includes sections on ecology, including weather and fire, geology, flora (grasses, flowers, trees) and fauna (arthropods, reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals), as well as recreational opportunities in the Sandia Mountains. Plant keys and fauna checklists are a few of the book’s features that make this a perfect guide to take with you as you  venture into the Sandia Mountains to Albuquerque’s east.


Forgotten Albuquerque by Ty Bannerman

In 1706, Spanish colonists founded the Villa de Alburquerque on the wooded banks of the Rio Grande. t The once-quiet farming community has grown to become New Mexico’s largest city. This book explores how, over the centuries, Albuquerque's identity has metamorphosed many times.


A History Lover's Guide to Albuquerque (History & Guide) by Roger M. Zimmerman

This tour of New Mexico's largest city goes beyond the traditional guidebook to offer a historical journal through an area rich with diverse cultures and their fascinating past.


Imagine a City That Remembers: The Albuquerque Rephotography Project by Anthony Anella and Mark C. Childs

Imagine a City That Remembers grew out of a series of articles and photographs published in the Albuquerque Tribune in 1998 and 1999. The expanded and updated collection revisits Albuquerque nearly 20 years after the original articles were written.


Juniper Tree Burning by Goldberry Long

When Jennie Braverman, formerly known as Juniper Tree Burning, gets news of her brother Sunny Boy Blue's suicide, she flees her new husband and embarks upon a mad dash across the American West toward the site of Sunny's death. Forced to confront the past, Jennie must face the shame of the childhood name she has been so happy to shed.


The Last of the Menu Girls by Denise Chavez

Rocío Esquibel is a girl growing up in a southern New Mexico town with her mother and sister. She defines her neighborhood by its trees—the willow, the apricot and the one they call the marking-off tree. At night she enters a magical realm, and in her imaginary Blue Room, she can fly. At first she is a mesmerized observer of the lives of older girls and their boyfriends, but as she finds a job at the local hospital, and discovers a passion for drama and stories, Rocio begins to make her own choices in love and work.


Legendary Locals of Albuquerque by Richard Melzer

Spanish settlers founded Albuquerque in 1706, making it the third of only four villas (towns) in colonial New Mexico. Located in the Rio Abajo along a wide turn on the Rio Grande, the settlement developed from a small farming community into New Mexico's largest, most modern city. Many notable men and women participated in this remarkable growth, lending their talents and sacrificing their time, energy, and sometimes their very lives.


The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols

Set in northern New Mexico, the “war” in this novel’s title is a clash between land developers and local farmers over water rights. Full of unforgettable characters including politicians, real estate moguls, new-age hippies and families that have been tending the land for generations, the novel is a loving and humorous paean to life in small-town New Mexico.


New Mexico Filmmaking by Jeff Berg

The moderate climate and majestic western landscapes of New Mexico make it an enchanting locale for the motion picture industry. In this comprehensive volume, local author and film historian Jeff Berg explores the history and legacy of New Mexico on the big screen. Albuquerque has become a hub for filmmaking in recent years, with numerous A-list movies and TV shows filmed here. Learn more about recently-filmed shows and movies here


Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade

Kirstin Valdez Quade's unforgettable stories plunge us into the fierce, troubled hearts of characters defined by the desire to escape the past or else plumb its depths. This book was the winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize and a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. 


Only in Albuquerque by Deborah C. Slaney

Albuquerque Museum History Collection: Only in Albuquerque highlights the museum’s rich history collection, drawing examples from 35,000 artifacts, works of art, maps and photographs.


A Place to Stand: the Making of a Poet by Jimmy Santiago Baca

One of America's leading poets describes his youth in New Mexico, his troubled adolescence, his years as a drug dealer in Arizona and San Diego, and the personal redemption that occurred after he was arrested and sent to prison.


Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

This novel takes the reader on a deftly plotted journey that ranges from 1970s India to suburban 1980s New Mexico to Seattle during the boom.


Sweet Nata by Gloria Zamora

Sweet Nata is a memoir about familial traditions and the joys and hardships the author experienced in her youth. Set during the 1950s and 1960s in Mora and Corrales, New Mexico, Zamora reveals her interaction with her parents, grandparents and other extended family members who had the greatest influence on her life. 


The Spell of New Mexico edited by Tony Hillerman

A rich gathering of essays that evoke the unique and mysterious appeal New Mexico has had for some of the 20th century's best-known writers. Included are selections by Mary Austin, Oliver La Farge, Conrad Richter, D.H. Lawrence, C.G. Jung, Winfield Townley Scott, John DeWitt McKee, Ernie Pyle, Harvey Fergusson and Lawrence Clark Powell.


The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman (A part of the Bernie Manuelito novel series)

Legendary Navajo policeman, Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, takes center stage in this riveting atmospheric mystery from New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman. It combines crime, superstition and tradition and brings the desert Southwest vividly alive.


Visualizing Albuquerque: Art of Central New Mexico by Joseph Traugott (Author), Dawn Hall (Editor)

Visualizing Albuquerque is a comprehensive overview of 12,000 years of artistic activity in the central Rio Grande Valley. From sophisticated Paleo-Indian spear points to Pueblo pottery, from the Spanish and American Colonial periods to the city finding its true voice after World War II, this book reveals the vibrant creativity spawned by the encounter with this unique region.


The Zeon Files: Art and Design of Historic Route 66 Signs by Mark C. Childs and Ellen D. Babcock

In the mid-20th century Eddie's Inferno Cocktail Lounge, Bunny Bread, Paris Shoe Shop, and many other businesses throughout New Mexico and the Southwest displayed eye-catching roadside signs created by the Zeon Corporation of Albuquerque. These works of commercial art featured unique designs, irregular shapes, dynamic compositions and neon light. This book tells the story of how the Zeon’s artists helped give Route 66 its distinctive neon glow.